Prevent Inadequately Trained Practitioners Initiative

Virginia Society of Plastic Surgeons

Media Contact:
Kyra Oliver

January 27, 2011 – Richmond, Virginia – Today the Virginia Society of Plastic Surgeons (VASPS) announced its initiative to work with the Virginia Board of Medicine to protect patients in Virginia from inadequately trained practitioners performing surgery in outpatient offices.

In Virginia, a doctor without sufficient training to be allowed to perform surgery in a hospital can perform surgery in an outpatient office. “Due to limited regulations, patients in Virginia have been injured during outpatient surgery offices by inadequately trained surgeons performing complex surgeries including liposuction, facelift, and brachioplasty (arm lift),” said Lewis Ladocsi M.D., F.A.C.S., President of the Virginia Society of Plastic Surgeons. “Action is required to reduce the risk of avoidable injury or death.”

Ten years ago in Florida a series of deaths in outpatient surgical clinics resulted in strict regulations covering the facility and the doctor. Florida now requires doctors performing surgery in outpatient settings to have hospital privileges and American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) board certification to ensure they have the proper training necessary to be safe and effective.

Recently in Virginia patients have been seriously injured during outpatient cosmetic surgery by doctors without board certification or permission to perform these procedures in hospitals. In response to concerns raised by the VASPS and other medical societies, as well as national media coverage of the increased danger, the Virginia Board of Medicine created an Ad Hoc Committee on Outpatient Surgery to discuss the issue and make recommendations. This committee, including surgeons, family practitioners and dermatologists, has recommended a guidance document on office-based procedures be created for use during the development of proposed regulations to protect patients from the threat of inadequately trained providers who offer cosmetic and other surgical services in outpatient settings. These recommendations will be considered by the Board of Medicine on February 17, 2011.

“Too many of the doctors now performing outpatient surgeries in their offices in Virginia are not formally trained, and are not allowed to perform surgery in hospitals. In some cases, serious injuries have resulted,” said Dr. Ladocsi. “We hope the Board of Medicine will follow the recommendations of the Committee it created, so patients in Virginia can feel as safe in outpatient surgery centers as they do in hospital operating rooms. There is no reason why patients in Virginia deserve lower safety standards than patients in other states.”

For more facts about the current recommendations, visit